Thursday, April 28, 2011

My second date with Mod Podge

Since our first date went so well Mod Podge didn't wait long before calling me for another date.  It showed me this spiffed up metal wastebasket and I had to try it. 

A couple extra tips that I didn't see on the page:
1: Make sure the paper is wide enough to fit around the entire pail even at the top
2: A wall paper brush will tear through wrapping paper
3: Covering a conical pail isn't as easy as it seems. We found (ok, Ben found) the easiest way to do it is to lay the bucket down on the paper and trace the shape on the top and bottom by rolling it back and forth on the paper.  The original pattern used a piece of paper 20" tall by at least 30" wide.  You end up up something like this:

4: Instead of putting the Mod Podge on the entire length of paper do it section by section. This will prevent bubbles and folds like I ended up with on my first try.
5: Go for a sturdy gift wrap otherwise you run the risk of tearing the paper.

I'm glad Ben was around to help me out with this otherwise I would have been insanely frustrated.
I want to make another one(Ben is giving me a dirty look now). Now that we understand the best way to do it the next one should look a lot better.  Ben tells me "for someone who loves handmade crafts you sure are a perfectionist."  I'm sure the bucket we covered is cute, I just see all the mistakes.  But don't worry, Mod Podge and I will get together again soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Am I the only one who wants to tape Ming-Ming's beak shut?

I'm pretty sure most parents looked at that and knew I was talking about Wonderpets.  A show about a duckling, a guinea pig and a turtle that rescue other animals.
Garrett loves the show, he loves just about anything with animals and while I find the teamwork song annoying it does send a good message.  Something about the show just irritated me.  I mean full on I would rather blare an air horn in my ear...

And then it occurred to me, Ming-Ming. The damned duck has an annoying speech impedement. Now, having had a speech problem as a child I don't go around thinking people with speech problems are annoying.  I do find it really annoying when people do it on children's shows just to make the character sound cute.   Every episode she (I think it's a she) says "this is sewious, there's an animal in twouble". 

I've been told I'm not alone and Ben also can't stand the super annoying and fake lisp.  But Garrett loves it, he smiles when it comes on so I guess I'll just have to resort to pretending it's Ming-Ming in my Chinese food.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane...interview sagas

Ben left for the airport about 20 minutes ago.  He picked up his back pack and garment bag and said goodbye. Garrett ran to him and started crying, he's gotten so used to daddy being home the last month.
Ben will return Tuesday night after we're in bed and we're hoping good things follow this trip to Florida.

The past month hasn't bee so wonderful.  To say we got dicked around by the company in NC is an understatement.  This is the story of what happened:
Ben went for his interview and even though all sorts of SNAFUs happened with the flight he was only about 30 minutes late for his interview.  2 weeks later the hiring manager called him to say he wasn't right for that position but there was another position they wanted him to apply for.  Ben said he already did and the hiring manager went and pulled his resume and told Ben "I want to hire you.  We'll make you an official offer by the end of the week." The hiring manager assured us he'd call every day and wanted Ben on this job.  We started packing and he started telling Ben the things he wanted him to do when he started and that he wanted him there by the end of April.
We were so hopeful and excited.  We'd both been wanting to move to NC and this was a great opportunity with a secure company.  After a few days and no offer we were getting uneasy but the hiring manager assured us that HR was just being slow.  So Ben went and found a place on the HR blog to ask questions.  He asked how long it normally took to get an offer (keeping in mind Ben had only days until he was out of work).
Then the shit hit the fan...Ben gets a call from the hiring manager and HR saying they would never say anything of the sort.  The hiring manager showed he had no spine and said that wasn't what he told Ben and Ben misunderstood him.  He then told Ben that he was still his top candidate and wanted to bring him on.

That was March 30th and we haven't heard from them since.  Ben has been leaving the hiring manager messages letting him know about his other interviews (because you're supposed to keep them updated). We've never heard from him.  This morning Ben went and applied for another job with the company.  When you're done with the application it gives you a list of the other positions you have applied for and your status.  The other week his status was "resume under review", when he saw it today it said "no longer being considered".  Needless to say he was pretty pissed.  For some stupid reason we were both still hoping this would come through for us.  It's probably better off that he doesn't have to work for someone so spineless.

And Ben is off to Florida.  It's not a place either of us is particularly fond of but right now jobs aren't so easy to come by.  In 5 more days we won't have health insurance, the house is still a sea of boxes (which means little to no crafting because everything is packed) and everything is up in the air.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Living with Autism

While I personally don't have autism I live with it every day.  My 2 favorite guys both have Asperger's.  It occurred to me that as a mommy blogger I have never discussed it from my perspective.
I'm far from neurotypical myself, I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and test atypical but not on the Autism spectrum.  Ben was diagnosed with Asperger's in 1998 when he was 23 and while him having the same diagnosis as Garrett is helpful we don't know how Ben dealt with it as a child  or even if it was noticed.

"Some researchers have argued that AS can be viewed as a different cognitive style, not a disorder or a disability"
I tend to look at Garrett in the same light and by reminding myself that he has a different cognitive style I can more easily understand him and the choices he makes.  Things that may seem simple to other children such as coloring are a little different for Garrett.  He won't draw on paper with things on it already.  He doesn't draw on the kids menus at places we eat and gets frustrated and angry and will throw both the crayons and the paper.  However if he has a blank piece of paper he will sit and scribble happily.
I had to take a step back and look at this in a very structured and logical way and then it hit me...he doesn't want to draw on a paper that someone has already marked.  It's already occurred to him that he isn't supposed to color over other things.  Much like you'd keep a child from coloring on a book (a non-coloring book) he already gets that.  It may end up being more of a challenge teaching him there are certain places he is allowed to color but we'll cross that hurdle when we get to it.

I'm a very emotional person, I have lots of different moods and I'm very expressive.  Ben describes himself as binary.  He's either on or off and it's like someone flips a switch.  It can be rough on me when he seems to go from being fine to being frustrated in the blink of an eye. I do remind myself that I have to tell both of us to take a deep breath so we don't end up getting angry with each other over a misunderstanding.  I see some of these habits with Garrett, like when he wants a snack he is fine and then melts down.  There is some progress since we have been showing him pictures.

We're lucky that we've gotten Garrett in to Early Intervention and he's made such great strides.  They work with us and him to help him.
Sometimes it is frustrating when other parents say "Why don't you do x,y or z?"   Well, because my son doesn't think like "normal" children.  His brain works differently and so we are working with him instead of forcing him to just do it our way.  The truth is people with Asperger's are usually highly successful individuals.  Ben and I don't look at this diagnosis as a bad thing, just as something different.  And being different is ok.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Bunny!

While I come from a Jewish family Ben comes from an Episcopalian family, and the truth is I like the Easter Bunny.  Spring, bunnies, eggs, bright colors, it's all very heart warming.
A couple weeks ago we were at one of the malls getting together with friends and we passed by the Easter Bunny.  He started waving at Garrett to make him smile and he didn't look creepy at all.
a side note: I'm very specific about people in mascot type costumes, mostly because I spent a summer in college as Perry Winkle the mascot for Perry's Ice Cream (no, that is not me in the picture). So when I find someone who is in costume and enjoying themselves and really getting in to the spirit of things I want to give them credit.  It's a damned hard job to do. 

We got Garrett's picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  He ran right over to him and climbed into his lap and snuggled him.  He was calm and happy and actually didn't want to get out of his lap.  The Easter Bunny game him extra hugs while he giggled and snuggled into him.   And we have this great picture which I adore because he looks so much like myself AND Ben at the same time.

Oh Mod Podge where have you been all my life?

Why oh why did it take me so long to discover Mod Podge?  You come in so many varieties with different colors identifying each type.  With both my sewing machines (yes, I've acquired an embroidery machine) in their boxes I've been going through craft withdrawal.
I found this nifty ticket bowl tutorial that looked fun and easy.  I used the directions from one of the links to different ticket bowls.  Since I didn't want to wait for the tickets to arrive from Ebay I went and bought a roll of tickets from my local party store.

It was a little difficult pushing out the tickets into the bowl shape that I was happy with, but once that was done it was pretty simple. I used Glossy Mod Podge (the orange bottle) and put 2 coats on the inside and then  2 coats on the outside.    For the hole in the bottom I cut a circle out of card stock and another out of felt and glued them together then glued them to the bottom of the bowl. 

I have no idea what I'm going to do with the bowl.  I'm sure I'll find a use for it. Next time I'll get the ticket rolls from Ebay and go for some of the retro looking ones.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Forgotten Crafts

Or rather crafts I forgot to post. 
I had this adorable lemon/lime fabric I got on clearance. I figured it would make a really cute dress.  Too bad I don't think Garrett is the dress wearing type.  So I decided to make a dress for Samantha's daughter.  I used a very simple pattern.  Sadly I couldn't find any matching buttons so the dress still needs buttons but Sam said she'd find ones that she likes.
Almost enough to make me want another baby...ALMOST, but not really.

The other thing I made was a small laundry bag for my delicate items.  We have a great delicate setting on the washing machine and I have a few tops that need to be run on that cycle.  It makes it so much easier to keep these items separate.
Look at those dainty fingers

I'm hoping Ben will get a real job offer (he has a follow up phone interview Monday and if that goes well he's flying to Florida for another interview) and we can move so I can get back to sewing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring is here

It took some time but Spring is finally here in Boston.  It means lovely weather and playground time, but it also means cute dresses.
I realized that this time last year I was nursing.  All my tops were nursing tops and I didn't have much clothing to wear for the warmer weather.  I've also been losing weight so my things aren't fitting me the same way. 
I found this adorable little dress for the spring.  It was too cute to pass up.

Forgive the roots and the tired look
I found a pair of Tahari wedges I had gotten on sale last winter (clearance for the win).  I can't wait to wear this dress on some deliciously warm day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hair raising!

I've always been rather cavalier about my hair.  I figure it grows back so who cares.  It's been black, brown, auburn, blonde and those are just the natural colors.  I've gone green, blue, teal, gold, fire engine red, pink and purple.  I've had my hair short and long and lengths in between.  Hell, in high school I even had it chemically straightened. 
So why is it that when Garrett got a haircut this weekend I nearly had a melt down?   He's had his hair cut several times before.  Since his first birthday he's had about 5 haircuts (not counting this one) and I've never had an issue. 
Maybe it's because he went from this:

To this:

He still looks adorable but it's so different.  He looks older and at least people won't mistake him for a girl.  I just really miss the long hair.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nap Time!

Friday is Garrett's busy day of the week.  He's got preschool in the morning at one of the local elementary school and Early Intervention Playgroup in the afternoon.  In between we come home, have lunch (and a diaper change or 2) and walk the dog.
By the time his second playgroup is done he's ready for a nap.
Out like a light
This gives us plenty of time to get the laundry folded.   Or give Aloysius some snuggles.
Love me!
Or maybe Mommy and Daddy can get some snuggle time together because we both need a nap too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dreaming of a new crafting space...

Ben and I are both dreaming of a place where we can have a hobby room with plenty of space.   I've always been big on maximizing space so I easily fell in love with the Arrow Sewing Machine Cabinets.  Particularly the Betty design.
 I love how it fits right into the corner using all available space.  And it folds up into a neat little cubby with your machines out of the way when you aren't using them.  The little rolling caddy is perfect for a second machine. 
Once we move I'm going to have fun organizing and decorating the new place.  Until then I'm having fun imagining what it will look like and all the things I'll be able to craft once my machine isn't in a box.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award...take 2

I just got a note from Darlena over at Tales of an Unlikely Mother.  She felt I was worthy of the Versatile Blogger award.

I'm cheating a bit since I was also given the award in February.   As an added bonus I'll give you 2 new things about me.
1: I dream about having a crafting room with tons of space.  I have so many projects I want to do and neither the time nor the space to do them.   Plus all my crafting stuff is packed right now.  There is also an ottoman (with a drawer) that I got on Freecycle sitting in our basement that I'm going to reupholster and paint. 
2: All the power tools are mine.  I think this is why my FIL likes me so much.  I have a power drill, jigsaw, Dremel and sander.  I really want a reciprocating saw and one of the new Mutli Use Dremels that do soldering and glass cutting.

Crafting and tools, how's that for versatile?

Monday, April 4, 2011

A little surprise from Vistaprint

Sometimes posting on Twitter does pay off. 
If you haven't seen the post I previously had some problems with Vistaprint.  I decided to give them a second chance because they had a free postcard offer.  (Yes, I know I'm being super optimistic by getting moving postcards but it was a free offer and I didn't want to pass it up.)
The order arrived Saturday which was much earlier than expected.  I opened them up and the picture was crisp and clear.  No strange lines.  Except down the left side of half of them.  There was a white stripe from there they had been cut.  Since overall they looked good I really didn't see a reason to complain about it.  

I did end up tweeting "@vistaprint job looks good...except for the horrid cutting job that left half of the cards with a mm of white space on the left side."   Mostly because they wanted me to tweet them with how it came out.  I got another tweet from them today asking for the order number so they could look in to it.  I then got an email saying my Vistaprint order was being rush shipped to me and should be here by the 7th.  I wasn't expecting that.

Where does that leave me with Vistaprint?  When they do a good job it's great.  When they do a bad job the customer service wants to set it right.  My concern is that little things seem to go wrong all the time.  I will purchase from Vistaprint again in the future but I do hope they learn to have more consistency in their quality.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mom Pledge Blog Hop

 Here I am. A crafting mom of a very energetic toddler.  I don't parent like everyone else.  I always figured no 2 people parented the same way.  There are some things that are just different.  Sadly I learned that online this meant I was somehow a horrible parent. 
This is one of the reasons the Mom Pledge was so important to me.  I've experienced first hand how cruel other mothers can be when they disagree with you.  Instead of suggestions their have been put downs.  And rumors...the latest rumor they floated was that my son had cancer.  Can you imagine getting messages from people saying they were sorry my son had cancer?  I'm even more disturbed that someone would start a sick rumor like that.  Garrett is fine, aside from some croup right now

So I'll keep on crafting and loving my son.  Ben and I will parent to the best of our ability.  We understand every parent is different and that isn't a bad thing.  If you're doing your best as a parent than you are the best parent for your child.
BWS tips button